• Special briefing ahead of debate on religious slaughter in the House of Lords

    The All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews together with Shechitah UK convened an urgent meeting for members of the House of Lords in January ahead of a tabled debate on religious slaughter in the Upper Chamber. A presentation on ‘Humane Animal Slaughter – The Jewish Approach’ was given by Deputy and campaign Director of Shechita UK, Shimon Cohen.

    The law currently allows livestock destined to become Kosher or Halal meat to be killed, without being mechanically stunned beforehand. Pre stunning an animal according to Jewish Law would render it automatically not kosher. Any change to UK law in this area would have wide reaching effects on the ability of Jewish people in the UK being able to access, distribute and consume kosher food.

    Despite the short notice the briefing attracted a good attendance. All Peers present were very grateful to be equipped with the thorough briefing material, provided ahead of the debate. We are grateful to them for taking up this issue and protecting this important religious freedom.

    The short debate; ‘The ethical, legal and religious factors that influence the way in which some animals are slaughtered in the United Kingdom’ was tabled by Lord Trees and held on the 16th of January. The debate mainly focused on the move to demand mandatory labelling of all non-pre stunned meat.

    We were delighted to see so many supportive peers speak so strongly in defence of shechita. Lord Sacks said on the subject said: “If a case is made for labelling meat to indicate how the animal was killed, this must apply to all methods of slaughter, not just some.” Lord Sheikh in turn noted his hope that religious communities would continue to work closely on the issue.